Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download PDFDownload PDF 

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment

12    Proposed Citizenship Register

The Leader of the Government in the Senate (Senator Brandis), by leave, moved—

(1)       That not later than 5 pm on Friday, 1 December 2017 (and within 21 days of making and subscribing an oath or affirmation as a Senator) each Senator shall provide to the Registrar of Senators’ Interests a statement containing the following:

(a)       a declaration by the Senator that, at the time the Senator nominated for election to the Senate in this 45th Parliament he or she was an Australian citizen;

(b)       a declaration that the Senator is not a citizen of any country other than Australia;

(c)       a declaration stating:

•        the place and date of the Senator’s birth;

•        the citizenship that the Senator held at the time of birth; and

•        if he or she did not obtain Australian citizenship at birth, the date he or she was naturalised as an Australian citizen;

(d)       so far as the Senator is aware:

•        the place and date of birth of the Senator’s parents and grandparents;

(e)       whether the Senator has ever been a citizen of another country and if so which country or countries;

(f)        what steps the Senator has taken to assure him or herself that they have not inherited citizenship of another country from a parent or grandparent;

(g)       if the Senator has answered the question in paragraph (e) in the affirmative, then provide details and evidence of the date and manner in which the Senator’s citizenship of that other country was renounced (if it was renounced) or the date and manner in which it came to an end in accordance with the laws of that other country;

(h)       if the Senator’s citizenship of that other country had not come to an end at the date of his or her nomination for the Senate, detail and provide evidence of any steps the Senator has taken to renounce the citizenship of that other country prior to the date of nomination; and

(i)         if the Senator has declared that he or she was at the time of nomination or is now a citizen of a country other than Australia, on what basis the Senator contends that he or she is, nonetheless, not disqualified under section 44(i).

(2)       If at any time the Senator becomes aware that information provided in their statement is no longer accurate they shall update their statement as soon as practicable but not later than 21 days of being so aware.

(3)       Statements shall be made in accordance with this resolution and in a form determined by the Committee of Senators’ Interests. The Registrar shall, in accordance with procedures determined by the committee, maintain a Citizenship Register comprising statements provided under this resolution. Other than as specifically provided for in this resolution, the committee has the same powers and functions in relation to the citizenship register as it does in relation to the Register of Senator’s Interests.

(4)       The Registrar shall, upon the expiry of the time for providing statements under this resolution, and at other times determined by the committee, publish the register and any alterations or additions to the register on the Parliament’s website.

(5)       Any Senator who:

(a)       knowingly fails to provide the statement and evidence required by this resolution to the Registrar of Senators’ Interests by the due date; or

(b)       knowingly fails to correct an inaccuracy in his or her statement within the required timeframe; or

(c)       knowingly provides false or misleading information to the Registrar of Senators’ Interests;

shall be guilty of a serious contempt of the Senate and shall be dealt with by the Senate accordingly, but the question whether any senator has committed such a serious contempt shall first be referred to the Privileges Committee for inquiry and report.

Debate ensued.

Document : The Leader of the Opposition in the Senate (Senator Wong), by leave, tabled the following document:

Eligibility of members of Parliament—Opinion of Mr Peter Hanks, QC—Section 44(i) of the Constitution and Ms Justine Keay, Ms Susan Lamb and Ms Rebekah Sharkie.

Debate continued.

The Leader of the Australian Greens (Senator Di Natale) moved the following amendment:

Omit all words after “That”, substitute “not later than 5 pm on Friday, 24 November 2017 (and within 5 days of making and subscribing an oath or affirmation as a Senator) each Senator shall provide to the Registrar of Senators’ Interests a statement containing the following (along with any documentation):

(a)       the date and place of birth of the parliamentarian;

(b)       the date and place of birth of the parliamentarian’s parents;

(c)       the date and place of birth of the parliamentarian’s grandparents;

(d)       whether the parliamentarian, his or her parents and his or her grandparents have ever been naturalised as citizens of any country, and if so, the country and date of naturalisation;

(e)       details, including dates of issue and, if relevant, cancellation, of any foreign passports previously held by the parliamentarian;

(f)        details of any other act by the parliamentarian under which they relied on foreign citizenship (eg voting in another country);

(g)       whether the parliamentarian, his or her parents and his or her grandparents have ever renounced citizenship of any foreign country and, if so, evidence of that renunciation and its acceptance by the authorities of the foreign country; and

(h)       the date on which the parliamentarian nominated with the Australian Electoral Commission for the 2016 federal election (or, for the House of Representatives, any more recent by-election).

(2)       If at any time the Senator becomes aware that information provided in their statement is no longer accurate they shall update their statement as soon as practicable but not later than 21 days of being so aware.

(3)       Statements and documentation shall be made in accordance with this resolution and in a form determined by the Committee of Senators’ Interests. The Registrar shall, in accordance with procedures determined by the committee, maintain a Citizenship Register comprising statements provided under this resolution. Other than as specifically provided for in this resolution, the committee has the same powers and functions in relation to the citizenship register as it does in relation to the Register of Senator’s Interests.

(4)       The Registrar shall, upon the expiry of the time for providing statements under this resolution, and at other times determined by the committee, publish the register and any alterations or additions to the register on the Parliament’s website.

(5)       The Committee of Senators’ Interests:

(a)       commencing 24 November 2017, shall inquire into the citizenship status of each current Senator; and

(b)       report to the Senate whether there are circumstances which may warrant a question or questions respecting the qualification of one or more Senators being referred to the Court of Disputed Returns under section 376 of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 ;

(c)       present its final report on or before 6 December 2017; and

(d)       during the inquiry:

                                                        (i)       have power to send for and examine persons and documents,

                                                      (ii)       to move from place to place, to sit in public or in private, notwithstanding any prorogation of the Parliament or dissolution of the House of Representatives,

                                                     (iii)       have leave to report from time to time its proceedings and the evidence taken and such interim recommendations as it may deem fit, and

                                                    (iv)       be provided with all necessary staff, facilities and resources and be empowered to appoint persons with specialist knowledge for the purposes of the committee with the approval of the President.

(6)       Any Senator who:

(a)       knowingly fails to provide the statement required by this resolution to the Registrar of Senators’ Interests by the due date; or

(b)       knowingly fails to correct an inaccuracy in his or her statement within the required timeframe; or

(c)       knowingly provides false or misleading information to the Registrar of Senators’ Interests;

shall be guilty of a serious contempt of the Senate and shall be dealt with by the Senate accordingly, but the question whether any senator has committed such a serious contempt shall first be referred to the Privileges Committee for inquiry and report or, if appropriate, the Court of Disputed Returns.

(7)       A message be sent to House of Representatives to acquaint it with this resolution”.

Debate ensued.

At 2 pm : Debate was interrupted while Senator Watt was speaking.